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  • Just a lick of paint and unexpected problems

    Posted on May 4th, 2009 Iain No comments

    Lunar lander is in in the home straight now (I hope)!

    Most of the major cabinet work is done and paint has even been applied to most of it. Going for a “space age” silver which certainly hits the retina. The single spoke 2CV steering wheel gives it a certain panache to go with the “made in my shed” look.

    Lander Cabinet Base

    Lander Cabinet Base

    As well as fun stuff like mounting the wheel the end forces you to do all the tedious things that you’ve ignored so far. In my case this meant adding proper handling for errors detected by the motor controls and designing labels for the cabinet and so on.

    It’s also at this stage that nasty surprises crop up. I managed to break the winding mechanism by bashing it on the top of the cabinet. Then the repaired mechanism started to slip and had to be redesigned. Lastly I’ve got a “fuzz light” of ebay which is supposed to warn the operators of any problems with the machine. Trouble is it’s cheapo motor creates so much electrical noise that every time it switches on it scrambles all the control electrics. So far all attempts to fix it have failed. I am learning a lot about managing noise when interfacing microcontrollers to high current devices, but that isn’t really the goal of the exercise at this point.

    Good news though – with almost all the lighting installed the game looks fab. The colour and visual impact of the back-lit main meters (speed and fuel) is great.

    Still a few loose ends on the software – mainly creating the “idle mode” that will run to attract attention when nobody is playing the game. This means that the moving parts of the game and all the essential peripherals are packed in to my study.

    Lander packed in to the study